March 01, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 477

Brazil is Expected to Export 68 Million Tonnes of Soybeans in 2018

Grains Mixed in the Overnight Session

Market Action

  • Grains mixed in the overnight session.
  • Strong buying in the grain complex could have been amplified by funds “window dressing” at the end of the month.
  • Exporters sell 120,000 MT of Soybeans for delivery to China of which 60,000 MT is for 2017/2018 marketing year delivery, 60,000 MT for 2018/2019 delivery. -USDA
  • Exporters sell 126,000 MT of Soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations of which 63,000 MT is for 2017/2018 delivery, 63,000 MT is for 2018/2019 delivery. -USDA


  • Weather forecast expects dryness to remain dominant into next week for major production regions. Some light precipitation possible starting in the south and moving north Sunday into Monday.
  • Recent model suggests increased rainfall starting next Thursday  and continuing into the following Monday in southern and central Argentina.


  • Unchanged forecast; frequent showers are expected to slow fieldwork.
  • Tues and Wed will provide opportunities for fieldwork in southern Brazil.
  • Conditions are dry in southern Rio Grande do Sul.   


RFS Meeting at White House Today 12 CST

  • Pres. Trump called another meeting at White House for today to discuss RFS.
  • Meeting includes representatives from oil and corn industries along with key Senators.
  • Discussion may include options such as exports to count as biofuel credits and for E15 to be sold year-round.  


  • Ethanol production slipped to 1.044 million barrels per day from 1.068 MBPD LW.
  • Ethanol production was above LY same week production by 1 percent.
  • Jan, Feb ethanol production has only run .5 percent ahead of LY pace which is a decline from the Sep-Dec period that produced 4.3 percent more ethanol than the same period LY.
  • Ethanol stocks increased to 965 million gallons from 956 million gallons LW.
  • Ethanol stocks are now below LY levels for the first time this marketing year, however still near record highs.  

Export Sales

  • Corn and soybean export sales strongly beat analyst expectations, improving over last week.
  • Wheat sales disappointed analysts falling 42 percent from last week.

Weekly Export Sales-














The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 28, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 428

Plains Showers Limited to Fringes of Hard Red Wheat Belt Next Two Weeks

Corn Wheat and Soybeans Up This Morning


  • Wheat market sharply higher on dry HRW region and excess moisture in SRW regions.
  • Grassley says “No Deal” following White House meeting.
  • Weather outlook mostly unchanged in SA
  • Exporters sell 250,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA


HRW Wheat

  • Kansas City Wheat is trading sharply higher this morning due to yesterday's lower crop condition ratings and forecast for continued dryness in the Plains.
  • Kansas City Wheat will be VERY vulnerable to continued dryness as it breaks dormancy.
  • March precipitation outlook shows continued dryness in the Plains states.


  • Yesterday evening GFS weather model run suggested little change from previous forecast.
  • Potential band of showers could move from south to north this weekend. However, widespread precipitation is not likely and any meaningful rain is expected to be localized.
  • Significant rain is expected in the far northwestern part of Argentina. This region has not been the area most affected by the drought.


  • Unchanged weather outlook.
  • Continued showers across the country into next week causing some fieldwork delays for soybean harvest and second crop corn planting.

No Deal on Biofuels Yet

  • Meeting on Tuesday was at the White House between Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst.
  • Ted Cruz said the meeting was “positive and productive” while Grassley tweeted “No Deal Made” and said the proposals were not a “win win”
  • President Trump has called for more talks between the representatives.  

CME Declares Force Majeure

  • Significant rainfall over the last week eastern corn-belt has raised water levels and caused moderate and major river and stream flooding.
  • Yesterday the CME declared a conditional Force Majeure at all wheat shipping locations on the Ohio river due to “load-out impossibility at a majority of Wheat regular shipping stations”.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 27, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 357

USDA Shows Slight Monthly decline in Kansas Wheat Ratings

Grains were Up in the Overnight Session


  • KCBT wheat breaks through Feb 20th highs on poor US crop ratings and expectations are for continued dry weather.
  • Significant rainfall has led to reported flooding along the river systems.
  • Exporters sell 130,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

Wheat Conditions Deteriorate Further

  • Kansas HRW wheat rated 12 percent good-to-excellent down 2 percent from Jan. Wheat rated poor-to-very poor throughout Kansas increased 5 points to 49.
  • Oklahoma HRW wheat rated 4 percent good-to-excellent was unchanged from Jan. Wheat rated poor-to-very poor in the state declined by 1 point to 78 percent.  
  • Drought conditions are expected to worsen this week across Kansas.
  • Temperatures should drop sharply mid-week in the central and Volga regions of Russia. Good snow cover should protect the crop from any damage.   

More U.S. Rain in Delta and Midwest

  • Significant rain over the last month in the eastern Midwest and Delta regions has saturated the soil and caused flooding along the Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Lower Mississippi.
  • Last week the CME declared a Force Majeure along the Illinois river as flooding halted barge loading activity.
  • More precipitation is expected through Thursday which will increase flood conditions on the Tennessee and lower Mississippi.
  • Drier conditions from Friday through the weekend will help, but cooler temperatures next week which will slow drying.    


  • Central production areas will remain dry through the weekend.
  • Latest weather model suggests increased rain during second weekend of March.
  • Significant rainfall is expected in the far northern part of Argentina for the remainder of the week.
  • Driest areas are expected to remain dry over the next week.
  • Temperatures are expected to cool next week.  


  • Frequent showers will benefit crop development but slow fieldwork.

Export Inspections

  • Wheat export inspections disappointed while corn inspections beat analyst expectations.
  • Soybean export inspections met expectations

Actual Inspections

Analyst Estimate











The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 26, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 382

Soybeans Higher on Worries about Declining Crop Prospects

Grains Higher in the Overnight Session


  • Argentina remains dry
  • Brazil fieldwork continues to be slowed by rains
  • May Soybeans breaks through highs set on July 12th 2017.
  • China customs data shows U.S. loses market share to Brazil in January
  • KCBT wheat finds support on 20 day moving average.
  • Exporters sell 132,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China during 2017/2018 marketing year.
  • Exporters sell 125,000 metric tons of corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA


  • Dry weather was persistent over the weekend in the majority of the growing regions. However, some precipitation fell in northeastern La Pampa, Western Cordoba and northwest Santiago del Estero.
  • The weather forecast expects some erratic and light precipitation from Tuesday through Sunday. Rains are not expected to provide the precipitation needed to stop crop stress.
  • Temperatures should stay mild with highs of 80’s and 90’s this week.
  • Longer term forecast is for more precipitation in March, but may be too late to turn around production.


  • Recent rain continues to delay soybean harvest and second crop corn planting.
  • Temperatures remain seasonable over the next couple weeks.
  • Rains and scattered showers are expected to continue over the next week.   

Commitments of Traders

  • Managed money (MM) is no longer net short in the corn and soybean market.
  • MM net corn position is 18,674 from -10,615 last week.
  • MM net soybean position is 99,111 from 56,242 last week.
  • MM net Chicago wheat position is -67,039 from -56,830 last week.
  • MM net KCBT wheat position is 13,141 down from 14,726 last week.

Soybean Exports to China

  • China soybean imports from the U.S. in Jan fell 14 percent from last year.
  • China soybean imports from Brazil in Jan increased dramatically to 2.07 MMT.
  • Customs data showed China imported 5.82 MMT of US soybeans which accounted for 67 percent of all soybean imports in Jan. Last year U.S. soybeans accounted for 88.5 percent of soybean imports during January.
  • Brazil’s large soybean crop last year and preferred protein levels seems to be the main cause of the move.   


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 23, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 273

Weekly Commentary for February 23rd

Week Ending Commentary for February 23rd

Basis continued to stagnate this week as the board continues to keep pipeline supplies well stocked for the near-term. On the week, US average corn basis nudged higher by 0.5 cents a bushel while soy basis softened by 0.3 cents a bushel.


The only major action this week occurred along export sensitive routes as corn basis caught a bid. The Gulf and PNW markets each were up, gaining 5 and 7 cents respectively on the week. River markets followed suit with a 4.5 cent basis improvement. However, heavy rains and melting snow-pack are likely going to cause barge problems in the coming week. Barge lines suspended operations on northern sections of the Illinois River on Thursday and several grain elevators along the lower Ohio River stopped loading barges because the rising river made it impossible for the vessels to get beneath grain spouts. For beans, basis levels were mostly flat at export origins and river terminals. Gulf basis continues to be soft as values trade at their lowest February levels since 2008.


For end users, there was little noticeable movement for corn or bean plants, although beans plants had a slight negative bias. Crush margin for soy plants have catapulted high, with values trading around $1.50 a bushel vs $0.85 a bushel last fall. With Argentina’s #1 position for soymeal exporting in jeopardy there should be considerable interest in the latter half of the marketing year for US meal supplies.


Basis levels for corn should start to perk up as we get closer to spring. The board rally in the last month has helped end users meet their needs but as flat prices stall out this should put the onerous on buyers to bid up basis to keep their needs met.

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 23, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 540

Soybeans Miss Export Sales Expectations Sharply

Grains Up in the Overnight Session

Drought Monitor

Latest U.S Drought Monitor shows Kansas increased moderate drought.

Oklahoma is unchanged with 37.8 percent of the state in extreme drought. (Rains in eastern Oklahoma after Tuesday were not included in latest run)

Texas drought lessened with rains in the east, but panhandle still in mostly extreme drought.

South America

Argentina expected to remain dry through Wednesday. Showers late next week are likely but may not be widespread.  

Buenos Aires grain exchange revised Argentina 17/18 corn and soybean harvest lower.  

Soybean production estimated at 47 MMT from 50 MMT.

Corn production estimated at 37 MMT from 39 MMT.

Brazil harvest will make its largest progress in the southern part of the state. However, precipitation is expected through most other production areas from Friday through next Thursday.


Ethanol production jumped to 1.068 million barrels/day this week from 1.016 million barrels per day.

Weekly ethanol stocks decreased to 956 million gallons from 961 million gallons.

Stocks are at the lowest level in five weeks despite production jump. Large stocks have been a concern this year with stocks earlier this marketing year running as much as 20 percent above last year.    


Export Sales

Soybeans missed expectations sharply by recording net reductions of 109,100 MT

Corn export sales beat expectations but were down 21 percent from last week.

Wheat sales were up 6 percent week over week and met expectations.


Weekly Export Sales-














The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 22, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 872

Argentina Corn and Soybean Yields Down Heavily

Grains Trade Lower in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains traded slightly lower with March corn down ½ a cent to 3.65 1/4, March soybeans down 3 1/4 cents, March wheat down 3/4 of cent and Kansas City Wheat down 1 1/2 cents. Due to the holiday shortened week the USDA will release export sales on Friday.


Exporters Sell 130,000 metric tons of Corn for delivery to unknown destinations during the 2017/2018 marketing year. -USDA

Exporters Sell 110,000 metric tons of Soybeans for delivery to unknown destinations of which 55,000 MT is for 2017/2018 delivery and 55,000 MT is for 2018/2019 delivery. -USDA


On Wednesday, the Rosario Exchange lowered its corn and soybean production forecast for the current growing season. Argentina soybean production was lowered to 46.5 million metric tons from 52 million metric tons (WASDE @ 54 MMT). Argentina corn production was revised to 35 million metric tons from 40 million metric tons in its previous forecast (WASDE @39 MMT). The latest forecast in Argentina is for net drying to persist in Argentina until Tuesday at which time there is a likely chance for precipitation. However, the confidence that the precipitation event will provide widespread meaningful rain is low.


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More rain fell last night in Northern and Eastern Texas with as much as 1 to 2 inches accumulated. Any significant rain missed Oklahoma and Kansas over the last 18 hours. Temperatures this morning were in the low to mid 20’s across much of Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

Russian Grain Consultancy IKAR announced today that it has increased its forecast for Russian 17/18 grain exports to 48.6 million metric tons, up from 47.7 MMT. The company also increased its wheat export estimate to 37.5 MMT from 36.6 MMT in its previous forecast.  


The FOMC minutes released yesterday indicated to traders that more rate hikes are on the table. Although three rate hikes this year is fully priced into the market, the comments by the committee that “a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate” could suggest that a fourth rate hike is not off the table.


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 21, 2018 | Coach’s Corner | Greg Martinelli | Views: 1580

The Lost Art of Follow Up

Agribusiness sales are long-term relationships, putting in the work is key

The Lost Art of Follow Up

Imagine you are a buyer of products.  Products like the one’s you sell.  You have been buying from Company ABC for the last 15 years.  ABC has been great to work with.  They provide you with quality products, help you out when there are emergencies in your business, and give you fair pricing.  Chuck, the ABC salesman has been your sales rep the whole time.  At times, ABC has had a few problems as any company does.  But, the relationship between your business and ABC is fairly good.

It’s Wednesday morning and as that buyer, you are busy reviewing spreadsheets when in walks Jody.  Jody is new in the market and sells for XYZ.  You know XYZ and even bought a few products from them over the years.  However, they never were able to meet the quality of ABC, they weren’t able to hold onto their sales people and you avoided them when they called on you.

If Jody wants to have a chance of selling this buyer, she has to understand this situation and understand it from that buyer’s point of view.  No matter the price or monthly special offers, that buyer does not consider Jody nor XYZ a credible vendor. 

Agribusiness sales are typically long-term relationships that revolve around a high level of trust.  To build that trust with the buyer, Jody is going to have to put in the time. And time means multiple sales calls.  Jody will have to work on the relationship first and then on the products she has to offer.  Her challenge is that the buyer will rarely reveal the relationship issues first.  He will focus on the products and pricing.  Jody will need to dig in with good questions to get the relationship going.


Key Points

  1. Why is Following Up called a Lost Art

It’s lost because few people talk about it.  Even sales training programs spend very little time on it.  They typically get to the end of day two in training and say, “We’re out of time and won’t cover the next section.  So, Follow Up on what you promised during the sales call”.  Leaving the student with no idea of how to actually get a follow up appointment.  It’s an Art because, as the sales person, you have to find a reason to come back for the next appointment.  And that reason is discovered during the current sales call, at full speed while you are conducting a sales call. 


  1. Why is it the most important step in the sales process?

Normally, any prospect will give you the first sales call.  But, rarely does a prospect buy on the first call.  It’s sales call #3,4,5….25, 26 and beyond that become increasingly difficult to get.  Why?  Because you need to find a relevant reason to come back. 

  1. Dig Deep to Uncover Opportunities!
    • Ask a lot of questions, question a lot of the answers, take a tour, walk the fields, walk the cows, ask “why” a lot of times. 
    • Take great notes so you don’t forget.
    • Learn more than you are taught:  After you get home from the appointment, go to that great research institution called Google and start learning about what you discovered on your sales call.  Find relevant information, especially about any problem areas the buyer discussed.  If you are lucky enough to have a research department, reach out to them and discuss what you learned on the sales call.  Same goes for other departments in your company: manufacturing, distribution, customer service and yes, even accounting.
  2. How long and how often do I keep going back?
    • We’ve all seen the different posts that say it takes 5 calls to sell an account and that 40, 50, 80% of sales people never make 2nd, 3rd, or 4th sales calls.  There are different versions out there, but the point is – few people have the persistence to keep going back.  Be one of those few!
    • My opinion is that you keep going back if you have relevant reasons to go back. 
    • Secondly, you honor their timelines.  If they tell you to not come back for 4 months, then that’s what you do.


As you head out into your territory and start calling on buyers or farmers, keep their perspective in mind as you ask them to buy your products.  It takes time, persistence, relevance and a combination of art and skill to keep following up until they become your customer.  Once trust is established, the sale will follow.

February 21, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 486

Wheat Hits Two Week Low

Grains Trade Mixed in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains are mixed with corn up 1 1/2 cents, March soybeans down 1 cent, March Chicago wheat down 3/4 of a cent and March Kansas City Wheat down 3 1/4 cents. Traders are focused on recent rains in some US HRW growing regions and continued drought in Argentina.


The eastern half of Oklahoma and Northern Texas received precipitation over the last day providing some much needed moisture to some regions of the winter wheat crop. Kansas has only received precipitation in the very southeast corner of the state. The 6-10 day forecast and 8-14 day forecast both show better than normal probability for precipitation in the eastern half of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  


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The latest weather models show little change in the forecast for Argentina. Models show dryness throughout this week with the possibility of some rain next week but confidence in the event remains low.  

Export inspections were within expectations yesterday for corn, soybeans and wheat. Total corn inspected for export for last week was 938,099 metric tons. Soybean inspections totaled to 960,066 metric tons and wheat totaled to 422,298 metric tons.  


The FOMC minutes from the January meeting will be released today and will be the focus of many traders. Traders are watching for any indication of faster than expected rate increases. The market is currently anticipating three rate increases this year but the FOMC release could indicate a possible fourth.    


The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

February 20, 2018 | Grain Hedge Insights | Kevin McNew | Views: 596

Chicago Soybean Futures at a Seven Month High

Grains Trade Higher in the Overnight Session

In the overnight session the grains traded higher with March corn up 1 3/4 cents, March soybeans up 15 cents, March Chicago Wheat up 4 cents and Kansas City wheat trading up 3 3/4 cents this morning. The market is continuing its move higher on dryness in Argentina and excessive rains in Brazil.


Rains over the weekend were less than expected in Argentina with only 25 percent of the corn and soybean growing regions receiving measurable precipitation. Buenos Aires received 1 to 2 inches and some lighter rains also occurred far to the north. It is estimated that 65 percent of the crop is experiencing moisture stress and that area is only expected to grow by the end of the week. Temperatures are supposed to climb into the lower 90’s by the end of the week and the forecast shows the best chance for rains for the middle of next week.


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The Brazilian Agricultural Consultancy Ag Rural reported that soybean harvest in Brazil is 17 percent complete compared to 26 percent during the same period last year. Mato Grosso soybean harvest is ahead of last year while Parana is well behind last year’s pace.


Rains missed the majority of Kansas this weekend with only some parts of Southeast Kansas receiving moisture. Oklahoma received between around a half an inch with the best accumulation in the northwest part of the state.  Temperatures are expected to be cold in the Northern Plains down into Nebraska and Kansas until the end of the week. Kansas snow cover is thin to gone with temperatures forecast below freezing until Thursday.

The national average spot corn basis increased last week by .4 cents while soybean basis slipped by .9 cents. River markets lowered their soybean basis by an average of 4 cents a bushel while crush facilities backed off 2.3 cents. Ethanol facilities were unchanged on the week and corn basis at the river was off an average of .8 cents.

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. Grain Hedge is a Branch of Foremost Trading LLC (NFA ID: 0307930)

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